For Phoenix-Based Artist Kenneth Ferguson, Exhibiting at 39th Annual Scottsdale Arts Festival March 20 - 22, 2009, the Uniform's the Thing

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The Color, Regalia and Traditions of Military Societies of the 18th and 19th Centuries Will Be The Focus of an Upcoming "Art of the Warrior" Painting Series by Phoenix-based Artist Kenneth Ferguson. Ken will Exhibit the First of These New Original Works, "The Road to Moscow," in Space #168 at the 39th Annual Scottsdale Arts Festival, March 20 - 22, 2009 on the Scottsdale Civic Plaza Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The color, regalia and traditions of military societies of the 18th and 19th centuries will be the focus of a new "Art of the Warrior" painting series by Phoenix-based artist Kenneth Ferguson, who will exhibit the first of these new original works, "The Road to Moscow" in Space #168 at the 39th Annual Scottsdale Arts Festival, March 20 - 22, 2009 on the Scottsdale Civic Plaza Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Whether it's a French Dragoon, a Zulu warrior or a Plains Indian Dog Soldier, I've been entranced since I was a little kid by the elaborate regalia, weaponry and other accoutrements of these warriors and soldiers," said Ken. "Who knows, this might have all started when my parents took me to see the epic movie "Zulu" at the theatre some 40 years ago."

"The Road to Moscow" is an original painting and measures 30" x 24". It represents a French heavy cavalryman of the 5th Cuirassiers in Napoleon's Grand Armée, circa 1812. "These were big men on big horses," noted Ken, "Their uniforms retained some of the last vestiges of armor to be seen on the European battlefield." Other paintings in the "Art of the Warrior" series will debut in 2010 at the Arizona Fine Art Expo in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Ken's paintings are highly distinctive and always promise our patrons a fantastic art experience," remarked Judi Combs, President of Fountain Hills-based Thunderbird Artists and part owner of the Arizona Fine Art EXPO. "We are very excited to be able to exhibit Ken's new works in 2010."

Over the span of a 28-year career as a fine artist, Ken has devoted himself to creating highly detailed, historically accurate paintings in watercolor that range in size from 10" x 12" miniatures to monumental works as large as 41" x 29". "I discovered the work of Paul Pletka in 1981," noted Ken. "His hyper-detail, rich color and semi-surreal handling of historic Native American imagery inspired me to push my work beyond familiar and expected portrayals of historical subject matter. I'm also very fond of the work of the great French 19th century military artist Jean Louis Meissonier and Edouard Detaille, as well as the wonderful book illustrations of 'Job' (Jacques Onfroy de Breville)."

Ken "scratch builds" his paintings, meaning that after arriving at the subject matters he wants to portray, he does a number of rough sketches to work out the composition and placement of the figure on the paper. He researches attire, weaponry and other aspects of material culture using everything from museum catalogs to first-hand observation of actual artifacts. He also researches physical appearance such as hairstyles and facial features using period portraits, historical photographs and first-hand written descriptions. He then translates this research into a final detailed drawing that becomes the basis for the finished painting. The actual painting style is, according to Ken, "a rather slow process of achieving rich color saturation through multiple overlays of controlled transparent watercolor washes. I finish with dry brush and splatter. A large painting can take between 200 and 300 hours to complete."

For additional information on the Ken's participation in the Scottsdale Arts Festival, the Arizona Fine Art EXPO or about the "Art of the Warrior" series, contact Ken at 623.869.9588 or visit his website at

About Kenneth Ferguson
Ken Ferguson was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He obtained his B.F.A. in Illustration from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois in 1981. Ken currently resides with his wife Diana on the northern edge of Phoenix, Arizona, where in addition to painting and doing historical research, he enjoys hiking and exploring the region's natural beauty. Ken's paintings reflect a distinctive approach to watercolor. From the early years of his career, Ken exhibited an interest in pushing the boundaries of this medium--most often known for its spontaneous washes and atmospheric qualities. In doing so, he has developed a technique that is a blend of both contemporary and Victorian approaches to watercolor painting. Ken's style is the result of a time-consuming method that involves multiple overlays of controlled washes, along with dry brush and splatter. Combined, these elements give his original paintings a rich color and pigment saturation seldom achieved in this difficult medium.

Ken Ferguson
623.869.9588 or 602.799.8250


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